Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $49,856)
The State Justice Statistics (SJS) Program is designed to maintain and enhance each state's capacity to address criminal justice issues through collection and analysis of data. The SJS Program provides support to each state to coordinate and conduct statistical activities within the state, conduct research to estimate impacts of legislative and policy changes, and serve as a liaison in assisting BJS to gather data from respondent agencies within their states.
The Mississippi Statistical Analysis Center (MS-SAC) proposes to conduct a project under the following theme: Other theme or topic identified by the SAC - mental health. The MS-SAC will conduct a survey of Mississippi circuit, justice, and municipal court judges, as well as district, assistant district, and county prosecutors throughout the state in an effort to examine the perceptions of the judiciary and prosecutors regarding mental health treatment options for criminal defendants with mental health issues. The survey will be distributed by mail or circulated at judicial and prosecutorial professional conferences. Additionally, the MS-SAC staff will conduct site visits to each existing mental health court in the state to ascertain their current capability and resources devoted to criminal offenders with mental health issues. Survey findings and other pertinent information will be written in a report to be disseminated to policymakers for developing resources and treatment programs for the mentally ill.